Chicago has lost an alderman serving as zoning czar, while Mayor Brandon Johnson has lost a key progressive ally.
Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, of the 35th Ward, has resigned as City Council floor leader and chairman of the Zoning Committee, following a contentious special council meeting in which he tried to physically stop Alderman Emma Mitts from joining, Block Club reported.
Ramirez-Rosa, a democratic socialist and staunch supporter of Mayor Johnson, had been a prominent figure in City Council, playing a key role in advancing the mayor’s legislative agenda. When Johnson appointed Ramirez-Rosa to both positions in May, it amplified the real estate community’s anxiety about the new mayor’s progressive policies, such as his proposal to raise the transfer-tax rate on all property sales of $1 million and up.
Two years ago, Ramirez-Rosa advocated a plan to ding developers who tear down single-family homes or multi-units buildings in Logan Square and other gentrifying neighborhoods. These fees amounted to $15,000 per home and $5,000 per unit.
The recent meeting, called by Aldermen Anthony Beale and Ray Lopez, aimed to discuss the revision of Chicago’s sanctuary city status. Beale and Lopez sought to place a referendum on the March ballot, allowing voters to decide whether Chicago should remain a sanctuary city.
Ramirez-Rosa tried to convince other alderpeople to avoid attending the meeting. He physically attempted to prevent Mitts from entering the City Council chambers to prevent the meeting from achieving a quorum. The proposal to reverse sanctuary city laws was opposed by Ramirez-Rosa and other progressive alderpeople.
Ramirez-Rosa later issued an apology, following protests outside his office and calls for his removal, the outlet reported.
“I feel awful about everything that happened. I have reached out to my colleagues to apologize directly and seek to make amends,” Ramirez-Rosa said in a statement. “I made mistakes, and I learned valuable lessons. I take full responsibility for what I’ve done.”
Johnson revealed that he had spoken with Ramirez-Rosa and both agreed that his resignation was necessary to rebuild trust within the council.